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A Place for Mom President Provides Information About Elder Care Options to Listeners of KUBB, Merced, California

Click here to listen to an informative interview from Pamala Temple, President of A Place for Mom, about elder care options. The interview aired in Merced, California on KUBB(96.3 fm) on June 22, 2008.

Below please find the transcript of the radio interview mentioned above.

Announcer: Time now for Valley Voice, Cub country's public affairs show. This is where we spotlight upcoming events and information about our community. Join us now for today's show.

Mike Ellis: Good morning and welcome to Valley Voice, I'm Mike Ellis. Well as we all get a little bit older one of the things we can't help but think about is how we'll be taken care of in our later years, and if you have a parent or a loved one and you're thinking about that very thing right now well I've got a resource for you to find the best kind of situation and facility for that loved one. And it's called aplaceformom.com and with me on the phone this morning I have Pamala Temple, she is the founder and President of aplaceformom.com who's going to tell us about the services that they offer. Good morning Pamala, just tell everybody a little about A Place For Mom, what the organization is all about.

Pamala Temple: Absolutely, A Place For Mom is the nations largest elder care referral service so we help families find elder care all throughout the nation and essentially we help people find anything from home-care to assisted living, independent living, residential care homes, nursing homes, pretty much you name it. And it's always a trying time when people are looking for elder care so our mission is really to give people personal professional assistance when they are in the situation where a loved one needs elder care.

Mike Ellis: Okay and what questions should a person ask when they are trying to find elder care for a loved one?

Pamala Temple: Well there are so many, and I think the first one is - is when do you start? You know and I would say start early, start the planning process early. A lot of people don't like to think about this until they're in a crisis, but we always say sort of know your options. If a crisis does come upon you and your in the situation you want to I think really seek out personal assistance and so we always say you can contact our service, A Place For Mom, or there are other services certainly in the California area and essentially that allows a family to kind of relax and know that they're in the hands of a real professional because you want to make sure that the care type you select is appropriate for the family member, you want to make sure that the needs of the parent are going to be met at the place where they are going to end up, and so it really starts with finding out what care level the elderly person is going to need and then from there it gets very specific into you know what are the needs and wants of the elderly, what are the care needs that they're going to have, what financial status do they have so that we're going to refer them to places where they can actually afford it. Different things like that.

Mike Ellis: So I suppose as well for each one of us grows a little bit older it wouldn't be too early for any one of us to check on these things ahead of time as well.

Pamala Temple: No not really, I think for the baby-boomers themselves, and we tend to deal with the baby-boomers but for their elderly parents, generally a parent who's going to be in their eighties, but for baby-boomers thinking about this I think one of the great things to start thinking about now is long-term care insurance so that we're financially ready when that time comes. I think elder care is going to change quite a bit in the next twenty years, thirty years obviously, but making sure that you have the funds to pay for elder care when you get there is probably a good place to start for baby-boomers.

Mike Ellis: So as far being financially ready, like you mentioned, you mentioned elder care insurance, are there other ways that people can think about as far as paying for the elder care when it's needed?

Pamala Temple: Yeah, there's, there certainly are. You know with your families that are in crisis right now it really runs the gamut. If somebody needs a nursing home, Medicare and Medicaid are there to help. A lot of people don't need the level of care that a nursing home provides so for instance with assisted living this is mostly a private pay endeavor there is a wonderful benefit out there I like to tell people about which is a Veteran Aid & Attendance benefit and we actually help people apply for this and essentially it's out there for people who are veterans who have daily assistance needs and are in the assisted living environment or are receiving home care, they can receive up to $1500.00 roughly per month to help out with those costs so that's one nice program.

Mike Ellis: And you mentioned that there are many kinds of things out there such as assisted living and so forth, what are the different options that someone can look for when they're trying to decide what kind of elder care is correct for their loved one?

Pamala Temple: Sure, well there, it's sort of what I call a continuum of care, so depending on what the care level needs are, how much aid and assistance the person needs will kind of dictate what care level they're going to look for. So if somebody falls and breaks their hip and they're in the hospital and they're going to need a short-term rehab stay, they're going to be looking at a nursing home situation. But a lot of people might just be at home and a lot of times families call us and they'll find that geeze, you know we went to visit mom over Memorial Day and she wasn't eating, she seems depressed, she's you know sitting in the same chair day after day, doesn't really have any friends any more, a lot of times the friends die off, you have the spouses who die and this is-it can really change the life of an elderly person such that their health starts to go down. The elderly frequently have to take a lot of medications, this can sometimes be confusing as to which ones to take at what time. And so things like that can start to concern family members and when that happens that's when it's time to reach out and say geeze lets start looking, and that type of person I just described might be more appropriate for an assisted living environment, or residential care environment or perhaps home care.

Mike Ellis: Now where can people look resources as far as trying to find some information on elderly depression or Alzheimer's, or whether or not they kind of need to be a parent to their parents really?

Pamala Temple: Absolutely, well I'd say the first place to go is aplaceformom.com, there's lots of information out there. We have what's called a community website where they can go and just post a question, any question that they might have. If they're worried about their parents you know medication management or nutrition or falling or leaving the stove on or lost the keys, any type of question that they have, they can post that to our community website and we have professionals all around the country who will be happy to answer those questions for them. They can also call us, you can get the number right off our website which is www.aplaceformom.com and they can essentially use us as a starting point and we can get them in touch with, let's say they might need an elder law attorney, or they might need some financial resources or to know more about the benefits that they have. We can sort of point them in the right direction in where they need to go.

Mike Ellis: And I would suppose with that message board kind of an idea that there might be other people out there as well that have gone through the same situation and can give them some good advice as well.

Pamala Temple: You know that that's one of the great things about our message board, our community website is that you're not alone, everybody deals with this in some time in their life and it's frequently stressful and hard and you can find other people who are going through the same thing to kind of almost form a bit of a support group or at least someone out there to reach out and say hey I went through that too and here's how I handled it, here's a good resource. We have a lot of that great exchange going on and we're really excited about that because there really has not been a place for families to go to ask these kinds of questions and now there is.

Mike Ellis: And do you have any advice for anyone who, I understand that people might feel a little guilty if they have to place one of their loved ones in an assisted care facility or something like that, so how can someone kind of deal with those feelings of guilt over making that kind of a decision?

Pamala Temple: You know it's a great question, there is a lot of guilt, there sometimes can be a resistant parent so they you know kind of look you in the eye and say I'm not going, I don't want to go. I think a couple of things to remember, the first one is when we start talking to our parents about placement options they are frequently thinking about the worst nursing home they have ever thought of, you know, and you they're also thinking about, is this the end? Am I losing my independence? Am I losing what I always thought was-you know-I would die in my own home? And these are really hard things for families. I think to acknowledge those feelings and to talk about them, but to also try to have an educational bent where if we can get the family member out touring, out looking at these properties, a lot of them will have you in for lunch so you can go in and see, and I tell you the new lease on life they can get from having a fresh start where they can get their proper medications, they can therefore start eating, they can have some friends, they can get on a bus and go to a museum or something that is of interest to them. Boy it just frequently seems so hard to make that decision, but once they kind of pass through that gate and do it, I mean the lives that have changed are just incredible. And they're in a safer environment and they're just probably going to live longer so there are so many things that are great on the other side of that guilt fence, but if you can kind of get through it with just kind of a loving attitude and these are your parents we have to kind of understand that they are frightened, that they do feel like they're losing their independence, we have to hold their hand through it and help them do it, and we also have to sometimes make sure they're in a safe environment because if we can't push through that guilt we might actually be doing them a disservice.

Mike Ellis: And I imagine it's important for people to also realize that those horror stories like you were talking about are not the norm those are the exception so people shouldn't be afraid to seek out some information and find out more about the facilities in their area.

Pamala Temple: That's absolutely right, I mean the papers and things that you see you know that are very perhaps negative, you know its just for every one of those stories you have ten thousand great stories and you know you always have to be looking for a quality place whether you're in one today its just every single day you're looking for that quality care and making sure things are happening correctly. But I can tell you after being in the business for 20 years, day in and day out the majority of the residents are getting great care, are getting their medications, are having great meals, so it's one of those things that you know, you don't want it to be your parent and there's a lot of people to take care of every day but know that the vast majority of people do get great care and we can provide good tips on touring to figure out what questions you need to ask when you go to tour and generally say make sure you have a good gut feeling about it, it seems like this would be a good place for your parent and if it doesn't keep looking you know and that's sort of a simple way to look at it. But it, I think a good gut check is one of those great things in this industry too.

Mike Ellis: Okay, so not only can A Place for Mom give great advice on many different subjects but you can also kind of help people find a local good facility in their area as well.

Pamala Temple: We sure do, and we have in every single area we have many elder care advisors who have actually been to all of the locations, they've been to all of the properties so they will listen to their story and really try to match up, you know it sounds like your mom needs an assisted living and she really likes birds so they're going to try to find one that has an aviary or something like that so you know, they're really trying to match up the specific needs of someone's parent to all the locations. Boy I tell ya, you take an area like Fresno or anywhere there are just hundreds and hundreds of options that you would never even know about if you didn't talk to somebody. So it's really important to get in touch with one of our advisors. It is free to consumers, we don't charge the consumers, we are reimbursed by communities all around the nation that support our service so it's just a great place to start and hopefully we can help you through.

Mike Ellis: And that's great for all of us as our parents get older and like I said as we start to get older for us to be able to think about what kind of care we might need as we grow older and it sounds like A Place for Mom is a great place to start in doing that.

Pamala Temple: Well thank you we think so and we help about a half a million people a year so we're really looking forward to helping more and my best day is because I get so many letters saying thank you, you've changed my mom's life, and it wasn't necessarily me but we certainly open up those doors to help people find the right places because we do, we are passionate about elder care and we do feel there are so many great options out there and its so important to get the elderly be it home care, assisted living, whatever it is, to the right place so they can truly just live longer and live a dignified quality of life for the rest of their days.

Mike Ellis: Well Pamala Temple, founder and President of A Place For Mom, thanks so much for talking with us this morning. We appreciate it.

Pamala Temple: Thank you Michael.

Mike Ellis: We've been speaking this morning with Pamala Temple, founder and President of aplaceformom.com. Now if you don't have access to the Internet you can also call them, toll free number 877-MOM-DAD9. That's 1-877-MOM-DAD9. Advisors will be glad to help you in finding the right kind of facility for your loved one. And we'll be right back with a lot more Valley Voice right after this.

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